I've written about our Old English Sheepdog before and now I find her on my mind more than ever. This past weekend while my younger son Michael and his family were down for Mother's Day weekend, Evil Sister's son (and an old friend of Michael's) Jason and his family were here, too. Jason's wife Meridith noticed the pictures of Digby that were hanging in the hallway. She asked if that had been our dog. I smiled (as I always do when her name is mentioned...and teared up a bit, again as I always do) and told her yes, she had been a birthday gift from Mac. Jason heard the conversation and said "oh Meridith, she was an awesome dog...just awesome." I don't think a better description has ever been given her. I loved her as a central part of the family, she was the boys fur sister, my four legged daughter, Mac's little Princess...I don't think a dog was ever so loved. Except maybe Terri's Dakota. I saw on her blogsite (http://bobandterri.blogspot.com/) that she had recently lost her beloved Dakota and then she didn't post for a while. I knew why. I didn't blame her. My heart went out to her and Bob because I knew what misery it was to lose someone you love that dearly and you just don't want to hear "but it's only a dog (or a cat or a bird or horse) because the love that pet owners feel for their pets far exceeds the description of pet. Jason began to tell Meridith the story of when Digby had saved a small child from drowning in a creek at Earle Naval Weapons Station in Colts Neck, New Jersey. We had a gathering in my dining room on Earle a lot of mornings. The group was made up of me, Evil Sister, and the two Cindy's. Both Cindy's had children named Ryan. Nextdoor neighbor Cindy's Ryan was four years old. He would knock on my door in the morning and ask if Digby could come out and play. Digby adored that little boy, as she did most of the neighborhood children. She loved rounding them up in tight little knots most of all. It was in her nature. So one morning the Mob of Four had gathered to teach Round the Corner Cindy how to play Scrabble. Scrabble was an obsession with Evil Sister and me and we were trying our best to spread the addiction. Most of the kids were outside across the street on the green playing kickball and chase and mother may I and Cindy Round the Corner had let her two year old Ryan go out with them. There were promises from all the little kids that they would keep up with him, but we all took turns jumping up to look out the window to check on the smallest of the Playgroup. It was a sudden thing, but Digby began to run from me to the door and barking anxiously and wouldn't stop. Deciding that she wanted to go out and play with the kids, I got up and opened the door. She ran straight out and across the green and didn't stop. By this time all of us were standing at the door and Round the Corner Cindy said "I don't see Ryan." And then we all saw Ryan. His dark blue parka held firmly between her jaws, Digby dragged him from the creek. He was screaming bloody murder so we knew he was alive, but we nearly knocked each other to the floor trying to get out the door all at the same time. After she had him pulled up on the bank, Digby began to run towards us, barking the alarm, and then she ran back to little Ryan and began licking him furiously. His mother ran to him, gathered him up in her arms and crying and shaking, hugged him. She knelt down, Ryan still in her arms and hugged Digby. "You're a wonderful girl, you are!" she was sobbing. She took her rescued boy home for dry clothes and then to the base clinic to make sure he didn't have any injuries. Digby became the hero of the base, but it didn't change her any. She didn't get a case of the "big head". She still liked to play with the neighborhood kids, her own two boys were still her favorites, and Next Door Ryan still came calling for her every morning. If I close my eyes I can still hear his tiny knock and his little voice calling out "can Digby come out to play?"